Special Friday edition? Exciting!

That’s right friends and foes, a Friday megalomedia post. I’m as excited as you are, so let’s get to it.

Everyone finally reported on the Sudan thing?
Nope. Nobody did.

I know the Michener Awards are a big deal, but do papers have to dedicate so much coverage to their own wins? If you want to know who won, just look at the Globe today, their “lead” is a teaser to the story on A3. They actually bumped their main headline down a few inches to pat themselves on the back. Then they dedicate A3 above the fold, the second-most prime location in the paper, to their own award.
Surprisingly the Citizen also gave the awards some coverage, despite failing to take home anything important. So fair play to them, I guess, but Globe, that’s not cool.
I was actually invited to the big partay last year, but turned down the opportunity based on my a) lack of interest in palm-greasing and back-slapping with corporate media big wigs, b) lack of respect for the office of the governor-general and c) lack of nice suit. Maybe I should have gone, whipped it out in the mashed potatoes or something, give the papers some actual news to report.

Bush was confused about something?
Almost everyone got the news that Bush wants to review border security legislation that would see travellers need passports or some other form of highly-secure identification to enter or leave the U.S. And almost everyone got Bush admitting that he learned about it from the media coverage of the matter (which is kind of troubling, isn’t it?), but CanWest took a pass on the fact that Bush was also completely off base with his concerns. The Globe points out that Bush seems to think that passports are going to be required, and wondered if fingerprint scans might be acceptable too.
Thing is, the legislation was unclear on what suitable ID would be. It’s unlikely that only passports would be accepted. Biometric identifiers of all kinds would probably do.
It’s sad that the president was uninformed about this stuff, but CanWest seemed to forget what it had reported itself just last week.

Advertorial or Edvertisement?
The Citizen’s second editorial today is praising the goodness of spelling bees, on the eve of the CanSpell National Spelling Bee, sponsored by CanWest. The whole thing is one big advertisement for their own event. “CanWest is sponsoring the bee because we want a Canada of readers and writers.” Warms the heart doesn’t it? That’s a bold editorial stance if I’ve ever seen one.

Do as we say, not as we do
The Gazette ran an editorial today criticizing Parliament for focusing on election speculation and the sponsorship scandal instead of on making laws.
Hmm, I wonder what could have ever pushed election speculation (eleculation?) and sponsorship issues to the top of the priority list. . .
It’s a wonder the Gazette building wasn’t hit by lightning when this bad boy was shat out. The Gazette has led the way in excessive coverage of the Gomery inquiry, they have at least three different reporters there. And the election speculation is driven by the polls commissioned by the press.
Yes, MPs should get back to governing the country, but the press has a role to play there too. If the Gazette wanted to set an example, that’d be stellar.

1 comment

  1. The Micheners aren’t just for publishers and big-wigs, Joe. They actually have a really eclectic mix of all kinds of journalists, great and small. At my table last year, I sat next to a statistical geographer with the Toronto Star, who helped them compile maps and stats for their investigations into racial profiling. Across from me was a copy editor with the Globe who had fascinating stories about teaching HTML to the hearing-impaired. I think it’s a really valuable experience, and I hope Mad-Dawg had an excellent time there.

    Also: Once upon a time, our own newspaper was no different when we won awards. I’ve seen copies from the 1950s where we came in third in the annual CUP awards, and it still got nearly two-thirds of the cover page.

    Today, we don’t see journalism awards as a big deal, and I think one of the main reasons is that we never win them. We’re not in CUP anymore. We’re not even in OCNA anymore. If we were, I hope we’d be able to report on our victories (and yes, we would be victorious) with modesty.

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